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Old 03-21-2010, 09:12 AM
 
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It is beautiful out today, so I took Copper on a little walk down to the dead end of our street and back.

He had his nose to the ground the whole time. He's a beagle, so I expect it- I know that is what he will be doing. I'm just not sure if I should be correcting him to walk with his head straight up, or let him follow his natural instinct and smell everything?
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Location: California
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It depends on what your walk is for. If your obedience training, then he should be walking out your side, no hesitations. When we are just out walking for the sake of fun and exercise, Dylan is allowed to walk ahead of me, but no pulling, but he can smell and do as he pleases as long as it does not inhibit my walking (like criss-crossing back and forth in front of me)....If I see another dog headed our way, then I tell him to "heel" and he walks right along side of me...no stopping, no sniffing.
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Old 03-21-2010, 09:20 AM
 
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yeah, it's good to be able to cue him to heel, so you should work on that on your walks sometimes, but there's nothing wrong with letting him sniff on a typical walk as long as he's not pulling you. it's good for a dog's mental health to get out of their territory and smell things. one of the books i read called it "checking their p-mail".
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:09 AM
 
Location: east of my daughter-north of my son
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I have a harrier, which is part beagle and part bassett and they were bred for hunting. His nose is always on the ground whether we are going for a walk, he is in the yard and even around the house. I have had beagles in the past and they did the same thing. I was told by a vet it goes back to the fact that they were mostly used for hunting and they are still "tracking the scent"!

I just always keep and eye out to make sure he isn't getting into anything he shouldn't be. But as Shelby said, if you are trying to train Copper, then obviously that is a different story.
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Middle America
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Willie's a beagle mix, and I don't know that I'd ever be able to train him out of his nose to the ground sniffing, even if I had any interest in it. It's what he was bred to do. When we walk, it's for exercise and recreation for both of us, and it's his free time to sniff until his heart's content. I don't allow pulling - he wasn't leash trained at all when we got him, and was a HORRIBLE puller, to the point of choking himself, until we got him a harness. Now he still pulls on occasion if he gets a rabbit or squirrel scent, but at least with the harness, he's not risking hurting his trachea, and the pulling has gotten much more minor and infrequent in the past six months. Still, if he tries to pull or bolt while walking, we just stop until the leash is slack again. But him walking along nose to the ground, I have no problem with. He lives by his nose.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
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I tried to get Casey (Westie) as a puppy to stop walking with his nose to the ground, but was never fully successful. He still does it once in awhile. I don't really care now, as long as he's not pulling me. Which, by the way, he still does occasionally, if he's on a mission or if he scents "danger danger" in the air (LOL). Most of the time, he walks by my side on a loose lead, occasionally in front of me, but I don't let him lead me in terms of the direction we're going. But I know the "experts" say to train them to heel with their heads up....
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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Thanks everyone. He was doing really good, not pulling or anything, just sniffing away. When I stopped, he just turned around and looked at me :lol Any walk I take him on is just a relaxed exercising walk.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
yeah, it's good to be able to cue him to heel, so you should work on that on your walks sometimes, but there's nothing wrong with letting him sniff on a typical walk as long as he's not pulling you. it's good for a dog's mental health to get out of their territory and smell things. one of the books i read called it "checking their p-mail".
LOL, love the "p-mail" comment!

To the OP: have you considered trying one of those leashes that goes about the snout to help control head direction? I've been in obedience classes with my lads where those have been recommended but I don't know what the thoughts are of other posters about those. I've not used one.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:58 PM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
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Ringo looooves his walks! He takes his time and soaks in every minute of it. He doesn't criss-cross or pull - but he does like to stop at EVERY tree and EVERY bush . . . . most of the time I let him as the walks are more for him than me. But if I'm walking with someone and they are trying to get some exercise; then I make him heel (at least for one go-round).

Now Lucy - walks at a frantic pace - but criss crossing back and forth . . . forward, backward . .

It's SO MUCH FUN walking both of them together.

Your's sounds like a good walker to me!
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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When I walk Charlie he always has his nose to the ground, but like others have said he doesn't pull so I allow it. If Copper stops and looks at you when you stop, that's excellent!!! We stop at the curbs and Charlie sits, but that's mainly for safety. I think walks should be fun for both dog and you; I'm not a big fan of the walks where Charlie is heeling the whole time, but my SO sometimes walks him like that. It is good for training purposes and getting the dog to focus on you even though there are distractions.
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